Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

Entries in Seasonal Foods (56)


Coconut Carrot Mash (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)


My household's winter CSA through Uptown Farmers is loading us up with more carrots than we know what to do with. They are accomodating our request for a potato free share (so amazing), since two of the three of us living together can't eat potatoes. In exchange, we are getting an equal amount of carrots instead.  That's a lot of carrots. I have carrots coming out of my ears. 

Last night I made this simple carrot mash with some of our winter carrots, flavored with coconut milk and coriander. It was so flavorful and vibrant, perfect for a cold, grey day.  

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free


Coconut Carrot Mash

serves 4-6

  • 8 cups carrots, peeled cut into large chunks
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 full-fat coconut milk, plus 2-3 Tbsp for drizzling
  • 1/4-1/2 cup leftover cooking water, adjust amount to reach desired consistency
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add carrots and ginger, return to a boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until tender.

Spoon out carrots with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor. Add coconut milk, 1/4 cup cooking water, coriander, and salt and process until smooth enough for your liking, adding additional cooking water as needed to reach desired consistency. Stop and scrape sides often to ensure even mixing. 

Serve immediately, drizzled with additional coconut milk and a pinch of coriander. If you need to keep it warm but will be serving soon, garnish as desired, loosely with a foil tent and put in a 250º F oven until ready to serve. 



How to Make Sauerkraut in Gallon-Size Plastic Bags: A Follow-Up

Updated on Saturday, January 15, 2011 by Registered CommenterKim


Back in October, I posted an entry called How to Make Sauerkraut - or - Four Women have a Cabbage-Laden Sausagefest.  I described one method for making sauerkraut, as demonstrated in photos of a party that three friends and I had where we shredded 50 pounds of cabbage and ate lots of sausages. After letting the cabbage ferment away for about 6 weeks, we got together back in December to sample our krauts, pack them into jars, and eat more sausages (and locally-made haggis). I wanted to let you know how it all turned out!

As you may recall from that post (found HERE), we fermented in gallon-size plastic bags, and made 9 different flavors.

  • plain with one with Canning Salt (3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • plain with RealSalt (3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • juniper berries (1 Tbsp berries, 3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • seaweed extravaganza (a half cup each of crushed nori, laver, dulse, and wakame, 3 1/2 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • caraway (1 Tbsp caraway sees, 3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes (1-2 garlic cloves, 1 onion, 1/2-1 Tbsp red pepper flakes, 3 1/2 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • dill seeds (1 Tbsp dill seeds, 3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage)
  • "Kim's Mix" - fennel and coriander (1 Tbsp fennel seeds, 1 Tbsp coriander seeds, 3 Tbsp salt, 5 lbs cabbage) - I sliced by thumb open while making this one, so I got to pick the spices. We joked that blood was one of the key secret ingredients.  Although I didn't actually bleed in the kraut, I did get to keep the batch.
  • "Terre Vivant" - a mix of juniper, clove, bay leaf, sage, and cumin, inspired by a recipe in the marvelous  book Preserving Food Without Canning or Freezing. I don't recall the exact measurements, nor did we write them down! But it was around 2 Tbsp total spices, 3 Tbsp salt, and 5 lbs cabbage.

IMG_0091Homemade haggis and sausages from the Seward Co-op in Minneapolis, MNSampling three varieties of our kraut with dinner: seaweed, garlic and onion, and Terre Vivant


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Super Sexy Borscht (gluten-free, vegan, ACD) 

super sexy borscht

There's something about a beet. 

Very rarely do people feel ambivalent about beets. Our ruby-hued friend (or candy-striped, golden, or white...)  tends to polarize even the most adventurous eater, generally resulting in one of the following things: wildly passionate love or deep suspicion and disdain.  My feelings unquestionably lean toward the former.

Early summer is a special, dreamy time for any true beet lover. Small, sweet, and tender, early season beets remind me of little earthbound truffles, rich and complex morsels that rival any high-quality dark chocolate.  Even their greens are tender, with just a hint of the characteristic bitterness that pairs them so flawlessly with their rooty counterpart. As the summer goes on, the beets become large and robust and intense, their flavor grounded by a maturing earthiness that is unsurpassed. With the coming of autumn, temperatures drop and the earth cools.  And then, the other moment a true beet lover waits for happens: frost. Magical things happen when the first bit of frost bites; the sugars concentrate and the beet sweetens. Round and weighty, they sit ripe for the picking, their dark flesh like garnets and rubies.  

No matter the season and no matter the size, the impact of a beet's ravishing color and curvy shape is downright sexy

baby beets

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November SOS Kitchen Challenge Round-Up and Giveaway Winners

November was a crazy month for both Ricki, my SOS Kitchen Challenge co-host, and me. She was blogging up a storm with Vegan MoFo and was busy marking papers at school. I packed up my old apartment and moved to a new place, finished my fall ceramics class, traveled out of town for Thanksgiving, and am taking on new responsibilities at work.  Crazy!  But despite all these distractions and obligations and responsibilities, we both managed to participate in this month's sweet potato-themed  SOS Kitchen Challenge. I told Ricki I had to bow out of commenting and managing submissions this time around due to my schedule and temporary lack of internet access - and she handled this challenge like the blogging pro she is. A big thanks to Ricki for making last month's even happen!

But a big round of applause goes out to all of you, as well - I'm happy to say that last month was our best-attended  SOS Kitchen Challenge so far, with 39 spectacular entries! Every time I saw a new submission, I did a little happy dance inside - this assortment of amazing foods is totally a dream-come-true! Of course, we both already love any recipe that includes sweet potatoes.  But a few of the savory entries stood apart from the rest, such as...

• Rhona's Sweet Potato Tempura Sushi Rolls
• Saveur's Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Curry
• Alex's Sweet Potato Veggie Pâté
• Megha's Sweet Potato Kebabs
• Lisa's unique Sweet Potato Pasta

And you all excelled in the sweet department, too!  Some of our faves from this month:

• K's Baked Sweet Potato and Pears
• Lisa's Sweet Potato Power Cookies
• Nicole's Sweet Potato Holiday Parfaits

. . . plus too many more great recipes to mention!  You'll just have to check out all 39 entries on your own--see the thumbnails, below! :)

And let's not forget this month's winners!

 Once again this month, Ricki and I were able to offer prizes for the  SOS Kitchen Challenge. We've chosen two names at random, each to win a prize from one of us.  And the winners are:

BROOKE from B and the Boy: You've won one of my hand-crocheted mason jar cozies.  Please contact me at eatingfreelyATgmailDOTcom to discuss the details of your custom jar cozy, and pick colors/patterns/etc.

NICOLE from A Dash of Compassion: Your prize is a pack of Ricki's anti-candida ebooks, Anti-Candida Feast and Desserts without Compromise.  Please send her your email address to dietdessertdogsATgmailDOTcom as well so she can get your books out to you asap!

Thanks to everyone for another fun and successful SOS Kitchen Challenge last month!

And in other news. . .

Ricki's article "Holiday Survival Guide for Those on a Special Diet" is featured on This Dish is Veg.  She's shared these tips on the blog before, but here they are again in one convenient place! :)

For those of you living in the Minneapolis area, a friend and I are hosting "A Procraftinator's Delight: Last-Minute Holiday Craft Sale" on December 18 from 10 am-5 pm. There will be handmade pottery, crocheted and knitted items, homemade jams and preserves, my allergy-friendly recipe calendar, and all sorts of other surprises for sale. Read all the details here, and stop on by for your last-minute holiday gifts!  It will be fun. 


Thanks again to everyone who participated in the challenge last month. Ricki and I are taking a break in December to focus on holiday cooking, gifts, and time with friends and family. We'll see you for our next SOS Kitchen Challenge in 2011!

November SOS Kitchen Challenge Submissions: Sweet Potatoes


Pumpkin Coconut Soup (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Gingered Pumpkin Soup

When I was in college, I bought a wonderful little cookbook called Pumpkin, Butternut, and Squash: 30 Sweet and Savory Recipes off the sale rack at the local grocery store. The minute I picked it up, it had my heart.  A cookbook entirely devoted to my favorite cucurbits? Heaven! 

Despite the fact that my "kitchen" at the time was merely a hot pot, a rice cooker, a microwave, a small grill (for outdoor use), and a mini-fridge, I was still crazy about food and had a modest little cookbook collection. I yearned for the day when I could have a kitchen of my own and the ability to cook wonderful meals!  When I didn't feel like eating in the cafeteria, I managed to pump out some very tasty meals from my modest little dorm room setup from time to time - couscous, Thai rice with peanut sauce, grilled Mexican corn, and noodle soups. We baked squashes, sweet potatoes, cakes, cookies and cupcakes in the common kitchens. I made vegan lasagne besciamelle for my Italian class. (I developed more food allergies after college, obviously)  Thankfully, my dining options in the college cafeteria were pretty great, featuring a variety of vegetarian, vegan, and fresh vegetable options. I was a veg*n at the time, so the cafeteria was one of the reasons I chose that school (Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, for the curious among you).  

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